What has Aquino really done?

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As he pondered his administration’s choices for standard bearer, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said presidential campaign debates should focus on his achievements.

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Over state radio, he remarked last Friday: “This, to my mind, is the center of the issue: Who will be more trustworthy to carry on the legacy that I will leave behind?”

What Aquino has done to the nation should indeed be a major election. Debating it would not only set a baseline for future public policy directions and performance targets.

It could also publicly dispell myths and set the record straight on what the administration has actually achieved, especially in eradicating poverty and corruption, promoting democracy and the rule of law, and advancing national security and foreign relations.

Then the electorate can better decide whether or not to continue with Aquino’s brand of governance by electing his preferred successor.

So in the year ahead toward the polls next May, aspiring Chief Executives would do the nation a great service by addressing most, if not all of the following questions in key governance areas of the Aquino regime:

Did Aquino engineer the economic resurgence?

The administration’s main claim to success lies in the string of 6-7 percent growth since 2012 and the credit rating upgrades for foreign borrowings of the national government. But how much of those gains are attributable to Aquino? Specifically, which policies and initiatives did he undertake which significantly spurred economic expansion?

Was it the tough fiscal reforms cited by international debt agencies in upgrading Philippine sovereign debt? Did Aquino’s public-private partnership program hugely augment infrastructure, the perennial area of concern among investors? Or have public works and growth suffered due to PPP delays and chronic underspending since 2011?

Have poverty programs uplifted the poor?

Expanded to P40 billion a year since 2012, the conditional cash transfer monthly stipends for poor families, inherited from the Arroyo government, is Aquino’s key anti-poverty strategy. How much has CCT and economic growth reduced destitution?

Not much, going by the government’s own data. Poverty incidence has remained at about 20 percent since 2009. Quarterly hunger incidence, polled by Social Weather Stations, affirms the limited gains. In 2011-14, it averaged 19.4 percent, higher than the 19.1 percent average during the global recession and the Ondoy and Pepeng megafloods in 2009.

Has Aquino made big gains against graft?

Administration supporters often cite the no-bail detention of former President Gloria Arroyo and three opposition senators on corruption charges as singular accomplishments in the fight against graft.

Critics, however, point to the clique of Aquino classmates, allies and shooting buddies (KKK by its Filipino initials). No KKK crony has been made accountable the way political rivals have been, prompting Catholic bishops to decry “selective prosecution” of pork barrel graft.

No doubt the debates would ask what Aquino has done about major irregularities like: the disappearance of more than 2,000 untaxed and uninspected cargo containers in 2011, the billion-peso police firearms bidding Aquino himself ordered investigated in 2013, the Metro Rail Transit maintenance contract awarded to a crony consortium, the reported $30-million bribe demand made to Czech rail firm Inekon for an MRT contract, and tens of billions of pesos in misspending found by state auditors in the Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Tourism Departments, and the third batch of pork barrel cases which Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said are no longer her priority.

Opposition candidates may cite this column’s February 26 article, “The Tuwid na Daan Myth”, which stated: “In the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer survey by Transaparency International, nearly one-fifth of GCB respondents in the country said corruption ‘increased a lot’ since the TI poll in 2010. Another 12 percent said sleaze got a little worse, with nearly a third finding no improvement under Aquino. A further 35 percent thought graft ‘decreased a little’. That’s almost nine out of ten Filipinos not greatly impressed with Tuwid na Daan.”

Are democracy and the rule of law strengthened?

Opposition legislators have exposed the use of pork barrel funds in inducing lawmakers to pass Aquino’s pet bills and impeach his perceived enemies. This apparent assault on democracy and governance would undoubtedly come up in presidential debates.

So would other administration actions seen by critics as undermining democracy and the rule of law. One is the blatant disregard and open criticism of Supreme Court rulings, including unanimous decisions declaring pork barrel allocations unconstitutional. Presidential meddling in court cases involving leading politicians would also be raised.

Aquino statements preempting ongoing investigations, like the Mamasapano massacre probe, is another rule of law concern. Ditto the actions of Cabinet officials defying express court orders, such as the High Court voiding of Justice Secretary de Lima’s 2011 travel ban on former president Gloria Arroyo and her husband, and the Court of Appeals restraining order on the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay this year.

Has Aquino made Filipinos safer and more secure?

Crime fighting and prevention and disaster relief and risk reduction are life-and-death public concerns sure to figure in presidential campaign forums. The opposition will surely cite corrected Philippine National Police data showing that crime incidence doubled between 2010 and 2014. They would also ask what sanctions were imposed on PNP officials suspended and investigated for submitting false crime data, which made it appear that crime was declining under Aquino.

On calamities, the administration bet may wish to expound on how Aquino has implemented the 2010 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, including the mandated creation of a billion-peso DRRM agency similar to the U.S.
Federal Emergency Management Administation. He or she can also detail projects have been funded by the billion-peso People Protection Fund enacted nearly three years ago to safeguard calamity-prone communities.

This article has no more room to discuss them, but also major security concerns are the Bangsamoro Agreement and draft bill, and the China territorial frictions and the US military deployment in the country.

The nation would surely look forward to presidential forums discussing the above issues. Indeed, if media held such debates, maybe when Aquino ends his fifth year in office on June 30, many Filipinos would tune in to see exactly what he has done to us.

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33 Comments

  1. Ang mga tao talaga naman, hindi mo ma intendihan ang mga iniisip. Ngayon pa na
    umunlad ang gobierno, na bawasan ang corruption hindi pa ma satispasiran. Mayroon bang presidente mag mula ki Quezon na nag pa bilango. sa mga KAWATAN sa gobierno. At saka marami pang mga magagaling na ginawa sa kapakanan nang taong bayan. Kong hindi ninyo nakikita ang mga REFORMA talagang BULAG KA O INUTILKA.
    REPLY: Hindi po nabawasan ang corruption ni President Aquinmo. Lumala po. Ito po ay pinansin na ng World Bank. Kayo po ang nakakita ng REFORMA na wala naman kaya po hindi lang po kayo bulag kundi medyo pareho ni Mr, Aquino.

  2. ACHIEVEMENTS? What achievements this Lunatic Mongoloid is boasting about?
    ZERO. Other than his loud-mouth boast blabbering every time this Aquino Dude opens his mouth – there is TOTALLY NO substance to his claim.

    UP TO THIS VERY MOMENT AS I SPEAK, I am wondering to High Heavens how this Aquino got into Malacanang, for his lack of laudable credentials necessary for such highest office of the land – other than the Filipino electoral WAS a WILLING DUPE – a willing fool to get carried away by mere association to his dead Mom who happened to be President not by her choice but by the aberrations and malaise of corrupted politics borne by the creeping discontent of the 1970’s and ’80’s.

    The Filipino Electoral is a Fool. And he would always be a fool to perpetuate the same status quo that will abuse him on and on and on and on…he is even willing to pay his taxes and hand it over to these Crooks of the Political Government in place.
    Folks, this is an exercise of stupidity only the Filipino is willing to cast upon himself, flog himself of such political carcass – and so, RP, as we speak is the WEAKLING of ALL ASIA, militarily, economically, industrial-wise, largely due to this CROOKED status quo the Filipino people are willing to put themselves on the cross.

    • i hate to agree with your views. it is really the fault of the electorate by voting into office unqualified persons, corrupt persons, or both etc. this is why the phil is in this situation. this is a rich country but the people are generally poor and exploited. naging normal na sa tao ang mga korapsyon. another thing is this love for teledrama and believe in fairy tales and getting rich without working their assess off

  3. Amnata Pundit on

    After our experience with his mother the ordinary housewife, I thought we had seen the worst president ever, but the Yellows came up with GMA. After GMA I thought we had seen the very worst, but I underestimated the Yellows capacity to scrape the bottom of the barrel because they came up with this fellow who has a serious case of arrested development. This has got to be the very bottom, I said to myself, but wait! The Yellows’ manufactured surveys and well oiled propaganda machine have succeeded in limiting the choices for the next president to Binay and Grace Poe. Binay is producing a miracle that can be seen only in the Philippines, and that is despite his being clearly as guilty as Al Capone he still manages to have stout defenders in the press in addition to still decent ratings that is effectively saying that a large portion of the population is deaf, dumb and blind. Presidentiable Grace Poe on the other hand was just a clerk in the US before she she was appointed Censors head. What high principle pushed her to join forces with the camp that cheated FPJ only that opportunistic woman knows. Will somebody please tell me what have the Filipino people done to deserve these malevolent Yellow cretins?

    • Amnata Pundit on

      Under these yellow hypocrites, aren’t people scared what the real bottom of the barrel might look like?

  4. Mr. Saludo, your column for today should have a second part, if not turned into a series.

  5. Aquino and his liberals are focused on wealth distribution but that does not make the country any better. In fact it is a disincentive to hardworking and creative men and women of this country. They should wake up and smell the coffee and focus on wealth generation. Focus on incentives, job generation, new ideas, entrepreneurship, lesser government intervention, reduce the size of government, etc.

    REPLY: What wealth distribution, sir? What this administration is doing is make the rick richer!

  6. Rodolfo Liporada on

    BS Aquino’s achievements: Having an assassinated father who is deemed a hero, having a mother who was in Cebu during the downfall of a dictator, and a sister who is ka-loka in dominating the airwaves with her crying because she had STD.

    • boy sisi’s achievements, in my opinion, are as follows:
      1. threefold increase in pdaf
      2. invention of dap
      3. deterioration of the mrt-lrt service
      4. allocating almost half of the gov’t budget as his pork
      5. deterioration of peace and order; proliferation of drugs thus almost all of the suspects in crime are all under the influence of drugs
      6. horrible traffice jams
      7. flooding of the metro because of unilateral stoppage of the laguna lake dredging project of arroyo
      among others like violation of the law and constitution

  7. christinetan on

    In his own wonderful world of imagination Pnoy’s wishes and desires come true and if you tell him the truth that they have not come to fruition he will blame GMA and his critics for exposing his hallucination of success and achievement. In his mind he is a great success as president…but it is only in his mind…in the state and condition that it is.

  8. PNOY’a strategy is base on lies. It wont work with educated people. This style is common on communist lead countries. I hope there’s none in malacanang. Look at the Chinese style of reasoning about its owning the west phil. sea.

  9. What “achievements” and “legacy” is this dude, who prides himself to be called “president”, mouthing about? None. Nothing. Nada.

    Instead, the defining competence or character of his “adminstration” are bribery, corruption, gnawing poverty, lawlessness, damaged institutions and crumbling infrastructure.

    I retired as Undersecretary (Career Executive Service Officer I) and have served 5 Presidents, 6 if I include this pretender. Believe me, this nincompoop is
    the worst. Pinaka-malala ang tupak sa ulo.

    Kung noong panahon ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ang “incentive aka bribe” ay nakalagay sa brown kraft envelope, itong kay Aquino, nakalagay sa bayong kung hindi man sako.

    Saan ka makakita ng head of government na ang bias ay sa syntax ng report, instead of giving an ultimatum for some fugitives to be tracked and arrested, or else ( tanungin ang head ng BJMP National or NCR Regional Office). Or “I don’t like your report” addressing it to Baldos nung may mga namatay na workers dahil sa bumagsak na platform sa isang ginagawang building sa Makati. Or, sa isang Undersecretary sa Malacanang na gustong umentra habang nakatayo si Aquino at may computation na isinusulat sa whitebord. Sabi ni Aquino, “Teka muna, pagbigyan mo ako”. Or habang may on-going meeting sa isang room malapit sa Ceremonial Hall, dadaan si Aquino at kakawayan si Abad para lumabas. Guess? Right – cigarette break. These are some simple snapshots of the “world” of your or their “president”. For subsequent comments, major snapshots.

  10. wala naman talagang achievements si Pnoy, palagi nilang sinasabi yan pero nung tinanong ng CNN’s Christian Amanpour si Pnoy. ang CCT daw. Dyos ko naman, pangtawid gutom program ni PGMA ay banner project ni Pnoy, nasan ung kanya?

  11. Ogold Azures on

    Oh yes, Aquino has done a lot for this country. Lots of shameful acts like the Luneta hostage crisis, Mamasapano debacle, bribing of senator to impeach Corona. Prostituting co-equal branch, the senate and the lower house. Humongous corruption through DAP and PDAP. Let’s not forget also this BBL bill, because of his dream legacy, he is willing to give away part of his country to terrorist. A lot more to mention. To cut it short, Aquino has done nothing for the good this country. He is a disgrace to the Filipino people but not to terrorist.

    • Actually, AbNoy is himself the worst terrorist in our midst, disguised as the nation’s president.

  12. Abnoy is contagious, he even spread his virus to Sen. Poe. I almost fell down from my cahir when i heard Sen Poe saying she will ask the guidance of Abnoy and will continue his governance. we should think a million times before voting to celebrity again. any advice who is the best bet for 2016?

    • so far, NADA. pagasa ko nuon ay si duterte. kaya lang nabasa ko yung isinulat ni bobit avila sa freeman na nadinig nyang sinabi ni duterte na hindi sya talaga kakandidato ng pagka presidente, sya ay deodorizer lang ni mar aka boy pickup

    • How about Gibo? I rooted for him during the last presidential elections. Alas, an inutile person won – or, did he?

  13. Aquino is using the propaganda technique from Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously (The Big Lie).

    he keeps repeating the line, “his achievements”, but always fall short of enumerating the “what, how, and when”. in the era of the internet and google, he really still believe that would work? LoL

  14. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    18 May 2015

    So let there be debates between President Aquino and the Opposition on the claims of achievement by Mr. Aquino in the last five years or so of his Administration.

    From where I sit, there is really not much that President Aquino can truly claim as solid achievements in his signature fight against CORRUPTION and POVERTY.

    He should get credit for the GDP having surged at an average of around 7 percent annually for several years now, a quite impressive rate of growth which has gained worldwide recognition. Unfortunately, however, such an impressive rate of growth of GDP has uniformly been JOBLESS!

    On the Poverty front, it is obvious that his signature CCT program, to which he may already have spent the humongous sum of around P200 billion in the last five years or so, reports have it that in fact the incidence of Poverty has increased in the last six years!

    Now the NEDA and the Department of Social Welfare have come up with a brand-new Anti-Poverty Program they dub the “Accelerated Sustained Anti-Poverty Program [Asapp], which can only mean that Mr Aquino’s CCT Program is now a “dead duck!”

    One final comment: Senator Grace Poe who is rumored to be President Aquino’s preferred candidate for President next year, has publicly announced that she looks forward to President Aquino giving her–get this–DIRECTION on what she should do as President! This can mean that President Aquino will have the benefit of another 6-year term “behind the scenes.”–if Grace Poe is a candidate and WINS.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

  15. Phylliss Quinn on

    Wonderful summary, Mr. Saludo, of what Mr. Aquino HAS NOT done for the country and the Filipino people.

    • Amusing! Can’t you understand dude what Mr. Saludo said? He does not know what or if there is anything good Aquino does for the nation. Do you know anything good that he did or will do?

      REPLY: Mr. Animoi, I am an English teacher. Do you need to be taught how to understand English? This is what I wrote:
      “Wonderful summary, Mr. Saludo, of what Mr. Aquino HAS NOT done for the country and the Filipino people.” I repeat “HAS NOT DONE.”
      I praised Mr. Saludo for writing down in his column what Aquino has FAILED to do. So why are you attacking and mocking me?
      Gago ka ba? Kailangan mo ba magpaturo sa akin ng English language?

  16. P.Akialamiro on

    The general statement about his achievements by Pres. B.S. Aquino is nothing without specifying his solid achievements. At best, his is a mediocre performance; and, at worst, he has sown vindictiveness, arrogance and compromises at the expense of the Constitution and territorial integrity of the country.

    To be focusing on his zero achievements on presidential debates is “hapless”, It would be a futile attempt to inspire and convince people to vote. Let’s just consider them as part of a sad political history of the country!

  17. Efren Lacerna on

    Hi Richard,
    I’m Tito Efren (Lola Piciang’s son). Just to let you know I enjoy reading your column & totally agree that Pnoy is a retard. My being from La Salle, it feels great to say this.
    I spoke w/ Ate Noime at Rick’s funeral here in CA. I plan to visit the Phil. late this year. I hope I can meet w/ you.

    Keep up the great writing,
    Efren Lacerna